TAMPA, Fla. (1/29/09)--An opinion editorial urges the Obama administration to consider charities and credit unions in providing assistance in its economic stimulus package. It mentions specifically credit unions and the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions. The article, in Sunday's TampaBay.com was written by Lester Salamon, director of the Center for Civil Society Studies at Johns Hopkins University and former deputy associate director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. Salamon notes that more than one million nonprofit organizations exist, with 11 million paid employees and countless volunteers. "Those organizations have a critical role to play in sustaining families and communities during the hard climb to recovery…," he said. He detailed three ways the government could help nonprofits step in to help the economy, including earmarking funds from the Troubled Assets Relief Program to nonprofit housing and community development organizations to help low-income homeowners avoid foreclosures. He cited the availability of a "powerful and effective alternative mechanism"--the network of nonprofit community development credit unions, finance institutions and housing organizations. "They already manage billions of dollars of mortgage loans in low-income areas with delinquency rates that their high-flying for-profit competitors would now die for," he wrote. For the 230 members of the federation, delinquency rates on mortgages loans are at only 3.1% of assets, compared with the 18.7% national average on subprime loans, he said. His other two proposals involved creating a $3 billion to $5 billion matching grant program for nonprofit soup kitchens, homeless shelters and other service organizations; and adopting emergency incentives for private giving and volunteering. For the entire article, use the link.